What's next for Smart? Judging by some new patent drawings, a sporty, topless runabout concept appears to be waiting in the wings.
Although company officials have yet to comment on the idea, Autocar recently uncovered a handful of computer-generated renderings, all attached to a recent trademark application filed by Mercedes-Benz. Each image previews a highly modified ForTwo -- although the bodywork beneath the beltline remains somewhat true to the current car, designers seem to have nixed the windshield, windows, and roof in favor of a speedster-like configuration.
Sound familiar? From what we can tell, this does bear a remarkable resemblance to the 2002 Crossblade, a limited edition, barebones roadster built from the first-generation ForTwo. One notable difference lies with the doors -- unlike the original Crossblade, the new design appears to eschew open-air doors in favor of conventional panels.
At this point, little is known about the sporty Smart, although Autocar believes the roadster will be shown at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show come March, and may be powered by an electric drivetrain. A safe bet, but we wouldn't be surprised if some of the design cues -- notably the wider stance, reshaped headlamps, and revised grille opening, work their way into the third-generation ForTwo, which is expected to launch in 2012.